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Aug 18, 2013 08:36 PM

What's for dinner #240 - it's FINALLY summer here! [through Aug 26, 2013]

we finally got a good few days of nice weather here in San Francisco - sunny, mild temps, warm enough to take off a wrap. i know, i know... you poor swelterers are cursing me under your breath. Just be very grateful i didn't link to Seasons in the Sun....

What are you cooking, as we move into the penultimate days of summer (*sob*)?

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  1. Cooked quite a bit this weekend, mostly non-worthy of mention, for the Oldster (salmon cakes, bockwurst with an onion gravy, crispy milanesa of veal), but tonight's dinner was quite good and fun.

    the molasses/bourbon marinated and glazed pork brisket bones were a hit - we loved the boozy, fatty flavors. what a revelation - we like booze, we like meat! alongside were salt-crusted potatoes with a salsa verde made of olive oil, cilantro, scallions, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, and a little bit of salt (since the spuds already had so much.) loved these taters. also made early girl tomato/basil/garlic bruschette with crispy 4505 Meats bacon (sauteed slices of italian baguette in the bacon fat and some olive oil), and a simple salad of romaine hearts in a sherry vinegar and fresh dill vinaigrette.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mariacarmen

      That looks lovely! I love bourbon and meat together.

      1. re: mariacarmen

        "the molasses/bourbon marinated and glazed pork brisket bones were a hit" - How could it NOT be?

        Everything looks amazing - even that green stuff with the salt potatoes (although I wouldn't have eaten the green stuff!) But the bruschetta - wow - looks SO good!

        1. re: LindaWhit

          Thanks! and i actually would have made the green stuff with parsley instead, LW, if i'd had any on hand.

      2. Last night I fixed:

        Two grill-roasted chickens (which took about an hour longer to get to temp than the recipe said they would >:( )
        Roasted Brussels sprouts
        "Grilled" garlic-parmesan corn (ended up boiling it because the chickens were hogging the grill longer than expected)
        (baked beans and salad brought by my mother and fmil)

        Plum hazelnut torte for dessert

        I'm glad I made two pounds of the Brussels sprouts instead of one. They were the most popular thing on the table, which surprised me.

        I have a question about grinding nuts, if anyone's up to answer. For the torte, I was supposed to roast the nuts for 10-15 minutes, cool, and then grind fine. My results were very moist, when I was expecting a powder. After adding it to the flour, I had to spend 30 minutes with a sifter getting all of the lumps out.

        Did I not roast them long enough? Would I have been fine just ignoring the lumps and adding it to the wet ingredients? I don't bake often, so I'm not sure if that's something that would have worked itself out or what.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kontxesi

          The only thing I can think of re: the nuts, Kontxesi, is that they weren't cool enough? Also, hazelnuts have a higher fat content, so maybe the grinder was too full?

          "When grinding hazelnuts, it's important to avoid packing the food processor. "The more you put in it, the more likely you are to get something that looks like peanut butter," Laslow warns."

          1. re: LindaWhit

            It was only 3/4 cup nuts in a 9-or-so-cup processor, so that definitely wasn't the problem. The pan was still a little warm when I removed the nuts, so maybe that was the issue.

            I'll let them cool longer next time. Thanks. :)

        2. I was visiting my mom for the last 2 weeks, so didn't have an opportunity to cook a thing (she would consider it insulting if I didn't want to eat her food!). Last night was the first time in a while that I was in the kitchen.
          Decided on a prawn curry and spicy rice. Had never made one before, and I was pleasantly surprised by how it had turned out. Delicious! I used my sister's trick of adding finely diced gemsquash in the curry to flesh it out - upping the veg count and thickening the curry while adding a nice taste. Will definitely add this one to the memory banks for a repeat.

          1 Reply
          1. re: haiku.

            I made my first curry dish yesterday as well which I must say turned out great and my first thought was also-add this to the memory bank. I'm glad it worked out and you're back in the kitchen.

          2. We are back from our long pig roast weekend. Had a great time! SO's dad and stepmom were hosting at their cabin in Pinedale, WY, which is about an hour south of Jackson Hole, and had a friend come by to help with the pig (135lbs!), so I got to learn from him how to cut the pig down and season for the best results. I also was in charge of carving the entire hind quarters and the shoulders after cooking was completed. Since I was helping him, I also got to munch on the cheek meat... cook's treat! I also came home with 6lbs of mostly shoulder meat. The actual meal was a potluck but I was so full from "cook's treats" I didn't eat too much... someone did bring a great mac n cheese, and my cookies were a hit. Oh and I also tried some moose sausage that morning with breakfast, it was tasty.

            On Friday night SO's mom (mom and stepdad and his dad and stepmom all get along) cooked up a ton of tequila lime chicken, a tasty mexican rice casserole, refried black beans and the usual chips and salsa, so I also came home with about 2lbs of leftover tequila lime chicken.

            So, WFD this week? Well, leftovers. In as many forms as I can come up with. Last night it was quesadillas with some of the tequila lime chicken with the leftover rice. Today's lunch is a pork sandwich with homemade BBQ sauce (made by the guy who butchered the pig...he also made homemade green chili but that didn't last long!) and more rice. Tonight I think I'll do something with the pork and a tortilla... maybe even just more pork mixed with BBQ sauce wrapped in a tortilla... have lots of laundry to do!

            If anybody else has some ideas for my chicken and pork, I'd love to hear them. I'm already planning on some pork enchiladas later on in the week.

            3 Replies
            1. re: juliejulez

              That is some fine eating, julie!

              These threads might help with the leftover pork shoulder. Is it on the bone or off? You could make pork stock if on the bone. I put away some pork stock from a shoulder I used for shredded BBQ pork, and it adds a very nice flavor to fried rice or even just regular rice (subbing 1 cup pork stock for 1 cup water).

              And I *love* the soup idea from the 2nd and 3rd links. With white beans, vegetables, and various herbs, it would freeze nicely for winter eating.


              1. re: LindaWhit

                Thanks for the links! It is off the bone, so no stock (but I'll keep that in mind for next year...bring home the bones!)

              2. re: juliejulez

                I like my leftover pulled pork to top polenta with cheese, salsa and sour cream.

              3. Beef tri-tip is thawing in the fridge for tonight's dinner and will get a commercial spice rub then simple grill outdoors. Sides will be fresh sweet corn, yelllow tomatoes from a friend's garden, grilled mushrooms, heated dinner rolls. Minimal spices/sauces -- just the flavors of the fresh food.

                21 Replies
                  1. re: MidwesternerTT

                    The grilled tri-tip sounds great. I picked up my first tri-tip last weekend which is cozily sitting in the freezer until this weekend. I'm excited to try it although we don't have a useable grill at the moment so it'll have to be a stove adventure.

                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                      fldhkybnva - Enjoy -- My earlier "research" on tri-tip came up with a few especially good-sounding oven recipes from fellow CH's. I've only made a terriyaki- inspired one in the oven, so far. You might enjoy reading them and the full discussions surrounding.

                      a terriyaki one

                      a soy ginger whisky marinade


                      and a fennel garlic rosemary rub


                      1. re: MidwesternerTT

                        I respectfully disagree with the recipes above. TriTip needs salt, pepper, garlic powder and maybe some paprika. The flavor of the meat is masked by marinades and fancy rubs. We sometimes chop some rosemary into the mix, but the basic recipe is a winner for us, every time [and steaks are grilled almost weekly. It's my favorite cut of beef.]

                        1. re: nikkihwood

                          Also great to know. Are you implying the flavor is subtle that marinades cover it or that it's so flavorful that it doesn't need a marinade? I been noshing on a lot of skirt and hanger so used to a pretty beefy steak these days.

                          1. re: nikkihwood

                            Personally, I think that garlic powder masks the flavor of everything! We use garlic.

                            1. re: roxlet

                              Actually, Roxlet, I agree, but garlic powder is in the traditional Santa Maria tri tip 'mix. I sometimes marinate a tri roast in crushed garlic and a little oil.

                            2. re: nikkihwood

                              Agreed here. I make tri-tip all the time, at least once a month during the summer, and all I ever use is Montreal Steak Seasoning. I've tried other marinades, seasonings, etc, but Montreal by far is my favorite. Not to mention easy :)

                              1. re: juliejulez

                                Awesome, thanks. Any thoughts on the flavor? Is it more in line with the flavor of a sirloin or more hearty like a flank or hanger? I know it' usually the size of a small roast but I've seen a few which are around 1.25-1.5 lbs. Can I cook it on the stove top and finish in the oven?

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  I think it has more flavor than sirloin. I've never had flank steak that hasn't been marinaded or seasoned, and I don't think I've ever had hanger outside of a restaurant so I can't comment on that. The tri-tips I get at Costco are usually 24-32oz.

                                  You can do it on the stove and finish on the oven, I used to do that when I lived in Chicago with no outdoor space. It won't give you the same results as grilled, but it's still good. They also sell tri tip steaks so you could try that route (just cut the steaks yourself if your store doesn't offer them), and it might work better for your stove/oven method instead of doing it whole.

                                  1. re: juliejulez

                                    I did ponder the steak idea but the didn't know if it would work as you cut them crosswise right so they could be as thick as you wanted but quite narrow right? Or would you butterfly it in half with knife parallel to the roast to make steaks of the same length as the original roast but thinner?

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      This is basically what the ones at Costco look like: so it looks like they're cut straight across the roast... so some would be smaller than others because of the shape of the original roast. I don't think I've ever seen them butterflied.

                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                        Thanks for the picture, I'm excited to give it a try.

                              2. re: nikkihwood

                                nikki - but when you bake in the oven do you still omit other seasoning? Grilling adds its own layer of flavor, so I agree that simple works very well - the commercial rub I used had sugar & a list of spices, but seemed like too much (meat was good, just not great -- that didn't slow us down much!). The last rub recipe is pretty much what you suggested with fennel in place of pepper/paprika.

                                1. re: MidwesternerTT

                                  Hi, MidwesternerTT -- we do not oven bake it, we only grill steaks and roasts.I totally forgot about oven roasting, apologies.

                                  I'm a Southern Californian, and I've been to traditional Santa Maria barbecues - hence the comment. The seasoning, combined with the grilling technique that 'traditional' uses, produces a sublime result. And you can pretty much replicate it on a home grill with the simple seasonings.

                                  I think that if we were to roast in the oven, the last link, with the fennel and rosemary, would be the way to go.

                                  To me, Tri Tip is the most flavorful cut of beef. You can keep filets, tops,even ribeyes -- gimme me my tri , please!

                                  1. re: nikkihwood

                                    Have you tried hanger, flat iron or skirt? Pretty flavorful IMO.

                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                      Yes, and thank you for mentioning them - and I like them all. But I ** love** Tri Tip.

                                      In answer to your post below, I believe that grilling whenever possible is the way to go!

                                    2. re: nikkihwood

                                      It seems like grilling is highly recommended here? Maybe I can convince SO to pull the grill back out or just do it myself :)

                                    3. re: MidwesternerTT

                                      As for using the oven, I do a nice broil, not bake. Cut thinly on the bias and use any leftovers for french dip. Seasonings are just s&p for us. It lets the meat flavor shine.